Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interview with mystery author Michael Meyer

Today's guest is suspense, thriller, and mystery writer Michael Meyer. He's currently touring his novel Covert Dreams and is here to give us a little peek behind the covers.

Welcome, Michael. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a retired English professor. I literally taught at universities throughout the world: Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the Virgin Islands, and I spent the last twenty-five years of my forty-year career at a California community college. I live in Southern California wine country with my wife, Kitty, and our two other cats. I love to write, read, and travel the world. I am delighted that I now have the luxury of time to devote to all three of my lifelong passions.

Please tell us about your current release.
Imagine waking up remembering intimate details about a country in which you have never traveled and fluently speaking a language that you have never spoken. B.J. is living the ideal life. He has a great wife, a wonderful job. And yet he is experiencing life-like vivid dreams of Munich, a city he has never visited.

Stan Halsey is a professor in Saudi Arabia, who sends for his wife to join him. She arrives, and, in the blink of an eye, she vanishes, leaving no trace of ever being alive in either the United States or in Saudi Arabia.

Covert Dreams is a fast-paced international suspense thriller that moves from Munich to the burning sands of Saudi Arabia. What is real, and who is responsible for the terrifying nightmare?

What inspired you to write this book?
I have always been intrigued by the relationship the United States has had with Saudi Arabia, one of the most restrictive societies in the world. As a college professor in Saudi Arabia, I was witness to the fact that life here and life there is as different as being on two separate planets. What we take here for a given is nearly always a no-no there.

The area of parapsychology has always intrigued me, and where better to deal with something such as this than in a very hidden-from-the-rest-of-the-world location. The mixture of live and let live as practiced in Bavarian Munich, coupled with the fervent zeal of Arabia, enhanced by American involvement—and the plot just seemed to thicken, drawing me into it as I wrote, without my ever knowing precisely where or how it would end, but loving every minute of it.


The Munich all around her was bustling with activity. She could hear it from all directions. Munich was a wonderful city, a fun-loving place, the live and let live ebullience of the city emanating from its every nook and cranny. She had had a lovely stay here. All of it had been so adventurous, so new, so unlike life back home in Arizona. She could vividly recall the first time she had ventured into a Munich beer garden, where the liter mugs had been so huge that she had had to lift hers with both hands, and the giggles, from him, until he too had had to use both hands.

The fumbling noises he had been making came to an abrupt halt. He began stroking her cheek again. Gus looked so happy, so young, so full of life. It was so hard to imagine that he could be so heavily involved in all this horror.

Gus smiled at her once more. His eyes were soft, so gentle, so caring, so loving.

Maybe this was some kind of huge mistake. Maybe he wasn't going to kill her after all. Maybe everything would turn out happily ever after. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

But then suddenly she saw it clearly. It was no fairy tale. There would be no maybe. This was real, as real as the mixture of sadness and fear that now flooded her brain.

And then she died, with her eyes wide open, challenging, piercing his to the end.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently working on something quite different from anything that I have ever written before. It is a memoir of my journey from grieving widower to the once-again happily married man I am today. It is entitled The Three Kitties that Saved My Life, dedicated to my rescued stray cat, my inspirational three-legged cat, and my wonderful new wife, Kitty.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I became fascinated with books at a very young age. I must have read every Curious George book out there. At the age of ten, I self-published my first book, a short synopsis of California history. My parents bought the only copy, but I was a published author, and I was hooked. I have always been good at writing. In fact, all through the school system, my teachers would compliment me on my writing. I have written stories, essays, poems, novellas, and novels, but it wasn’t until I retired, in December of 2010, that I gave my writing itch a good scratch. I am not out for money. As a retired college professor, I have a nice pension. Rather, I want to write until I die. I love creating characters and plots. Writing to me is like reading. I never know precisely where things will lead. I am in good health, and my doctor told me that writing is a very healthy avocation for someone in my situation: a retiree. I love his advice.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am retired English professor. I devote my time now to my family, to my writing, to reading, and to travel, both nationally and internationally. I love to travel. I have lived abroad many times, and there are few countries in the world that I have not had the privilege to visit. My international travels have helped me become a better person and a better writer. When I decide to write, I do so. I am not out to make a lot of profit. I want to have fun, and creating plots and characters in the exotic places I have lived is very enjoyable. The minute my mind has to struggle with what is to come next, I promptly get up from my computer and do something else. I want to ensure that writing is always pleasurable for me instead of being hard work.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I come up with my greatest ideas when I jog in the morning for my daily exercise. I will often find myself running home as fast as I can, so that I can jot down a great idea that popped into my mind before I lose it. I look forward to my daily walks. They are healthy for me, and they also provide me with new ideas for my writing,

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be just like my father, a college professor, and that is precisely what I became, for over forty years. I loved every minute of it.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
The locales I write about are real. For instance, Covert Dreams is set primarily in Munich and in Saudi Arabia. I have lived and studied in Germany, and I know Munich as well as I know the back of my own hands. Also, I was a college professor at the University of Petroleum and Minerals, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I have traveled extensively throughout the Middle East. In addition, my Caribbean murder mystery, Deadly Eyes, is set on the island of St. Croix, where I was a professor at the University of the Virgin Islands. The Famous Union is a humorous look at college life, and I was a professor for forty years, so I know the territory well. The Survival of Marvin Baines is a semi-humorous look at midlife, something that I personally have lived through.

Thanks, Michael. Happy touring!

Readers, here are some ways you can connect with Michael:


Unknown said...

Looking forward to reading it.

Mike said...

Thank you, Rebecca. I will tell you that I had loads of fun writing it.

Unknown said...

Thank you for hosting Michael today :)

Marissa- Pit Crew said...

Thanks for the interview! It was really insightful.
I also really loved how personal and relatable Michael's answers were, it definitely put this book on my radar! (: